May 18, 2024

Pilates: Everything You Need To Know About What It Is

If you live anywhere other than under a rock, it’s likely that you’ll have heard of Pilates before, even just in passing. However, if you hadn’t taken notice before, it might finally be time to, because the low-impact workout is being praised by celebs and social media fans everywhere for its long list of physical and mental benefits.

Rochelle Humes can often be seen posting her Pilates workout to her Instagram stories, while Lori Harvey was interviewed on Met Gala red carpet look, asked «What’s the trick to these abs? ,” to which she responded, “Pilates — it changed my life”, and even the Princess of Wales herself has previously reported that she loves this type of workout for helping her improve her posture. Hailey Bieber is also a fan, frequently seen leaving the Hot Pilates LA studio. «I’ve been doing hot Pilates for around two years now,» she told US Weekly back in 2019. In fact, celebrities who do Pilates ranges from Harry Styles, to Adele, to Meghan Markle, to Margot Robbie — making it a celeb favourite, with a myriad A listers reported to swear by the sweat session for a good workout.

And over on TikTok, we recently saw the 3-2-8 Pilates workout trend go viral, with many users saying they have gained muscle and upped their general fitness levels through following the plan, with some even claiming that it helps to regulate their menstrual cycle and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) symptoms. Some even say that it assists with lymphatic drainage (although there are no official studies on these claims, as of yet).

In fact, the Pilates hashtag on TikTok has been viewed almost five billion times, with videos ranging from short five-minute routines for beginners to more intricate moves for those who have been converts for years.

And a delve into what it’s all about fast proves exactly why this particular form of exercise has been picking up more fans than ever. Pilates is a gentle way to ease yourself into a workout that stimulates your whole body, but gently. It can help mollify aches and pains (especially if you spent much of your day crunched up at your desk), improve posture and work you abdominal muscles and glutes. It can help with focus and relaxation, too since attention is paid to precision (the proper way to align your body) but also to breathing deeply (and correctly). Combined, it’ll help to relieve tension and stress – all in roughly 25 minutes.

What is pilates?

Originally created by Joseph Pilates in the 1920s, “pilates is a form of low-impact exercise that aims to strengthen muscles while improving postural alignment and flexibility,” explains Gary Healey, Reformer Pilates expert at Frame. “It draws inspiration from gymnastics, yoga, martial arts, zen meditation, and ballet, amongst others,” adds Justin Rogers, Head of Brand at Ten health and fitness.

Its main aim is to strengthen the core (abdominals), although it can work other areas of the body as well, such as the pelvis, spine and shoulder girdle. “Alongside helping to stretch and strengthen the musculoskeletal system, it can improve balance and increase joint mobility,” he explains.

Why is Pilates so popular?

“I think Pilates is so popular because it’s a low impact form of exercise that can be enjoyed by anyone at any time,” Pilates instructor Sophie Kulcsar explains. “It challenges your body in a completely different way to any other exercise which builds up your strength without giving you burn out. «

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